The Value of a Counter-Cultural Education - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Faith Higher Education
January 6, 2017

The Value of a Counter-Cultural Education

The predominant belief among the academic and cultural elite today is that we are essentially, and only, physical beings.  To quote Stephen Pinker, noted Harvard professor of psychology and a prolific and talented writer, “And when the brain dies, the person goes out of existence.”  He really means that.  And many very bright people agree with him.  The vast majority of professors teaching at the vast majority of universities and colleges are in this camp, many quite vocally so.

The culture tells us that we are all living in a “constructed reality” that is not based on absolute truth but rather on shared assumptions of reality alone. Or it tells us that there may be an absolute reality but we could never know what it is or apply it in our lives. Many say that identity, gender, right and wrong, are not inevitable or pre-determined but rather fluid ideas not bound by anything greater than joint understandings social interactions of people. This viewpoint introduces uncertainty into all human social practices and understandings, and it is a viewpoint that is a driving force in American culture today.

At Geneva, we disagree. We believe that the Scriptures provide the foundation for understanding our identity, our purpose in life and how to live and think and relate to others. God’s perfect Word provides the certainty and direction needed.

We find our ultimate meaning and reality in God and His magnificent creation. We are created to be near God.  To use the language of Genesis, we are made in God′s Image, in His likeness.

It is on this truth that we stake our counter-cultural claim that the best education is education that acknowledges this reality.

We are God′s people, created in His image, horribly disfigured by sin, but completely and wonderfully redeemed by Christ′s saving work, and eagerly waiting for the day when God will wipe away every tear. Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation.

We weave this fundamental truth through the entire Geneva educational experience.  This philosophy and our consistent application of it is what makes a Geneva education counter-cultural.

While we are counter-cultural, we do not build walls to keep out conflicting ideas or thoughts that challenge us. In fact, Geneva is the place where every student should desire to encounter these philosophies for the first time. In an environment that encourages and equips students to engage with the culture, students learn to think rationally about the truths in Scripture and the ideas that conflict and often are sometimes even hostile to them. We are confident in our beliefs and we help students not only to search for and find the revelation of God’s truth, but also to defend the faith with rational thought and argument.

One of the central tenets of the reformed theology taught at Geneva is that God is sovereign over all of life.  We believe that God is sovereign over accounting and engineering just as much as he is sovereign over Bible and ministry. God is interested in biology and education just as much as he is interested in missions.

Proverbs 25:2 reads “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”  Keep this counter-cultural idea in mind as you consider the life you want to lead. God has chosen to reveal absolute truth, Himself, and He desires and makes it possible that we seek Him out to discover His truth in His Word.

It is not always easy to engage and challenge culture – but it is worth it. Geneva College can equip you to live the life God intended for you to live and to be like Jesus, a counter-cultural force to be reckoned with.

For more about faith at Geneva and how it is integrated into all academics, athletics and activities, contact admissions@geneva.edu or call 800-847-8255.